Local man jailed for assault, theft, and driving offences


A 30-year-old man who assaulted his former girlfriend and police, stole from shops and drove uninsured was jailed for six months last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

Samuel Thompson, Railway Street, Banbridge, was convicted of five sets of offences which happened between July last year and April this year.

The court heard that on July 2 last year the injured party, who had been in a relationship with Thompson, called at his home and she agreed to stay overnight.

The following morning he began to verbally abuse her and closed the toilet door on her head, causing swelling and bruising.

Later that day the injured party further alleged that back at the house he pushed her, causing her to fall to the floor and grabbed her clothing.

For each of the two assaults Thompson was sentenced to three months in prison.

On January 25 this year police were travelling in Banbridge when they saw the defendant who began acting nervously.

Thompson’s eyes were glazed and police saw him throw a small bag on the ground.

He told police: “It just helps me sleep. It’s cannabis for my own use. Sorry I brought this trouble to you.”

For unlawful possession of a class B drug Thompson was fined £150 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

A public prosecutor said that on March 14 this year at approximately 12.50am police were called to an address at Railway Street in Banbridge in relation to a person’s safety.

The defendant’s mother wanted him removed from her home because his behaviour had been unacceptable.

Police asked Thompson to leave and he told them to ‘f—k off’ before jumping off a bed and shoving a constable back.

The defendant had to be restrained but he kicked out at an officer striking him on the leg. Thompson had to be handcuffed and continued to be hostile to police saying ‘go f—k yourself’.

He was sentenced to four months in prison on each of the two assaults on police officers.

Thompson was given six months in prison on each of two shoplifting offences which happened on March 23 this year.

He stole Yankee Candles, valued at £65.97, from Card Cave in Banbridge and goods from Poundland in Banbridge.

The court heard that at around 4pm two bags were left in Bistro in Banbridge by a male and female and police discovered they contained stolen property from Poundland worth £98.

They were also made aware of another theft from Card Cave.

CCTV coverage showed that the defendant had been in both shops.

On April 28 this year at 1pm Thompson was stopped while driving a car at Scarva Road, Banbridge.

He admitted to police that he only had a provisional licence and was not insured to drive the vehicle.

For the no insurance offence he was fined £100, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and banned from driving for 12 months. He was fined £15 for not having a licence.

A barrister representing the defendant said Thompson had an extensive criminal record and was battling alcohol and drug addiction.

He added that his client had an appointment at the Bluestone unit and was attending his local Methodist church in his battle against alcohol and drugs. There was support from his mother and girlfriend.

Concerning the two assaults on the former girlfriend the barrister said they had been drinking through the night and a row developed the next morning. Since then he had stayed out of trouble for this sort of behaviour.

The barrister said that the police officers did not suffer any injuries and Thompson had been under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Turning to the shoplifting offences he explained that the defendant was under pressure from other people in the area to pay off a debt.

“He has taken some steps to deal with his addictions but is well aware he is on the verge of a custodial sentence,” said the lawyer.

He asked the court to consider a suspended sentence or a deferral to see how Thompson could get on and stay out of trouble.

District Judge Eamonn King said that Thompson had received a four month sentence, suspended for two years, in February 2015.

He also pointed out that the defendant had received probation but did not do it and breached a community service order. He was rated as a high risk of re-offending.

Judge King made all the prison terms concurrent and activated the suspended sentence to also run concurrently making a total of six months in custody.

He granted bail of £500 for Thompson to appeal against the sentencing but remanded him in custody pending the appeal.